AU links AfCTA’s success to free movement of persons
A representative of the Department of Political Affairs, the African Union Commission, Rita Amukhobu, has insisted that it is imperative to take into cognisance the free movement of persons across the continent for African Continental Free Trade (AfCTA) to succeed.
Amukhobu, who spoke at a town hall meeting with researchers, youths and students in Lagos yesterday, noted: “We cannot have a free trade area that caters for only free movement of goods and services and not of people and expect successful continental integration.
“In essence, the continental free trade area in Africa will have to go hand in glove with free movement of persons, right of residence and right of establishment. Impediment to mobility of business people across borders imposes real costs on economies, including reduced imports and exports, reduced productivity, reduced competitiveness and translates into trade transaction costs for business.”
According to her, goods are accompanied by people because it is people that trade with the goods likewise services are accompanied by people because it is people that provides the skills and services. That is why the African Union has elaborated the protocol to the treaty establishing the African Economic Community Relating to Free Movement of Persons, Rights of Residence and Right of Establishment to ensure that Chapter Six of the 1991 Abuja Treaty is implemented.
She added that the free movement of African citizens across borders in their own continent is central to the vision of African Union.